What ensures that you receive quality health services? The availability of healthcare services, the accessibility of professionals and their skills all matter. Then there’s the important public protection work of Ontario’s 26 health regulatory colleges.

Together, they regulate some 300,000 healthcare professionals, from doctors and nurses to dietitians and optometrists. These colleges hold their member professionals accountable for their conduct and practice.

The colleges aren’t schools, but they do ensure that anyone wanting to enter the profession has met all the educational and training requirements for the delivery of safe, client-centred care.

Regulatory colleges set and enforce professional standards and guidelines, and also have mandatory quality assurance programs for their members. Regulation means that professionals in various healthcare fields all meet the same high expectations.

It also means that patients and clients have a right to complain or discuss concerns with a profession’s regulator. That body will act when you have a concern about your healthcare.

Only members of these health colleges can use the title of a healthcare professional. As well, only these professionals — unlike unregulated care providers — are responsible to a regulatory body for the quality of care they deliver.

You can check out an easily accessible website to find important information about a health professional’s registration and discipline history. Available in 10 languages, it offers one-stop access to the health profession registers of Ontario’s 26 regulatory colleges. Here, you can also access helpful tips to make the most of your healthcare visits with regulated health professionals. Find more online at ontariohealthregulators.ca.